8 New Breakfast Places To Know About
The newest places in the city serving the most important meal of the day.
This city has approximately 54,987 breakfast spots, from decades-old institutions to shops making their own maple syrup in a bathtub in the back room. We might have made that last one up, but either way Chicago is full of great options. Recently, we’ve had an influx of new places serving this oh-so-important meal. So in case your go-to spots are starting to feel a little tired, or you just want to try something different, check out one of the new restaurants on this guide.
photo credit: Kim Kovacik
The decision to have breakfast at Dell Rooster in West Town is always a good one. This isn’t just because this all-day Latin American restaurant has great food, but because it works for all sorts of situations. The space is decorated in cute chicken murals and plays salsa music at a volume that’s still a vibe but doesn’t force you to scream across the table. The food is affordable (most dishes hover between $10-$15) and everything is a hit. The oxtail sitting on fried sweet plantains is an example of a share plate that shouldn’t be shared, the chilaquiles are always crispy, and the dulce de leche pancakes are delightfully sweet.
This is the second location of Alexander’s Restaurant, with the original one being an Edgewater staple since the 60s. The bright narrow space in North Center has a classic diner feel, complete with a counter with spinny stools, naugahyde booths, and a server that you hope will call you “hun.” Similar to the original, this version has a long menu full of solid classics like hearty skillets, French toast, and patty melts. Nothing here will start a culinary revolution, but that’s fine—Alexander’s is ideal when all you want is a plate of comforting diner food, or just some eggs and toast to recover from a late night.
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Early Morning Delight
When steak and eggs alone can cost $20 in some breakfast spots, seeing an $18 plate of steak and eggs—plus quesadillas, chilaquiles, and potatoes—at Early Morning Delight in North Center might seem like something you’d run into at a Golden Corral buffet. But it’s genuinely a great deal—especially when the steak is well-seasoned, the chilaquiles are topped with a zesty salsa, and the quesadillas are stuffed with gooey cheese. It’s an impressively large plate of food that might require some backup. For something smaller, get their corned beef eggs benedict or the pillowy French toast-style churros topped with Nutella, mascarpone, and raspberry. Along with the food, the friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere make Early Morning Delight a great addition to anyone’s breakfast line-up.
Sun Rey Cafe
Sun Rey Cafe is a breakfast and lunch spot in Wicker Park that has pretty good food and an immense amount of chicken decor. Despite what all the poultry might lead you to believe, the menu isn't chicken-focused, with dishes like shrimp and grits and pancakes. But the best things here are the few Filipino ones influenced by the owner’s time spent in the Philippines. Their Manila breakfast comes with fatty longanisa and two eggs paired with fragrant garlic rice, while their pancit with chicken and vegetables has a nice balance of saltiness and citrus. Since there aren’t many weekday breakfast spots in the area, Sun Rey Cafe is a great addition to the neighborhood for anyone looking for a standard plate of eggs, or if you want a quiet brunch spot where you won’t encounter people guzzling bottomless mimosas.
This all-day Cuban cafe in Lakeview gets kind of a late start (11am), but their small selection of breakfast dishes are worth waiting for. And when we say small, we mean it—there are only six items. But their open-faced toast with serrano ham and thinly shaved parm is great, as is their French toast with bananas and caramel sauce. Some non-breakfast options (the Cubano, for example) are solid, but less impressive dishes (like paella or their ribs) make us glad that we can grab an egg sandwich until 4pm. Cubaneo’s vibrantly decorated interior full of colorful chairs and a wall of old painted doors is small, but it’s rarely busy, so you can drop by for an impromptu solo breakfast, or a relaxed catch-up with friends.
Irene’s Finer Diner
Irene’s Finer Diner in North Center is a decent, utility breakfast spot. Its bright space has lots of tables and retro leather booths that give it a classic diner atmosphere. Nothing on the menu is mind-blowing, but dishes like their breakfast burrito and skillets are still satisfying. Just know that the waffles are a bit dense and chewy, like pancakes that took a detour into a waffle iron.
Stay Cafe is a Logan Square breakfast spot that has reliable-enough food if you’re in the immediate area. They have just-fine egg benedicts, quasi-fluffy omelets, and middle-of-the-road red velvet pancakes for those who like to have dessert at 7am. And the space follows a similar trend. The bar, lounge-like couches at the front, and diner-esque booths make the space feel like the lovechild of a hotel lobby and a sterile airport restaurant. Though you probably will have an OK time here, if you’re willing to travel just a little further, Lula Cafe or Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits are better alternatives.
photo credit: Reilly Drew
Pompette is an all-day cafe in Bucktown, and it’s one of those cute little restaurants that’ll make you say “what a cute little restaurant” when you sit down. The narrow space is sparsely decorated with a couple of plants and hanging globe lights. The menu is mainly small plates from a team of chefs who worked at tasting menu spots like Alinea, Elske, and Moody Tongue. They have tasty things like cinnamon rolls, veggie hash, and a Dutch baby with caramel pears. It’s the kind of useful place you go to catch up with friends, and remark to each other afterward “what a cute little restaurant, let's do this again.”